To Horace Mann
—what a coxcomb ! I would have talked to him about the Opera, but he preferred politics. I have wearied Amorevoli with questions about you. If he was not just come from you, and could talk to me about you, I should hate him; for, to flatter me, he told me that I talked Italian better than you. He did not know how little I think it a compliment to have anything preferred to you—besides, you know the consistence of my Italian! They are all frightened out of their senses about going on the sea, and are not a little afraid of the English. They went aboard the William and Mary yacht yesterday, which waits here for Lady Cardigan9 from Spa. The captain clapped the door, and swore in broad English that the Viscontina should not stir till she gave him a song, he did not care whether it was a catch or a moving ballad ; but she would not submit. I wonder he did ! When she came home and told me, I begged her not to judge of all the English from this specimen 5 but, by the way, she will find many sea-captains that grow on dry land.
Sifctinburn, Sepb. 13. O.S.
Saturday morning, or yesterday, we did set out, and after a good passage of four hours and a half, landed at Dover. I begin to count my comforts, for I find their contraries thicken on my apprehension. I have, at least, done for awhile with postchaises. My trunks were a little opened at Calais, and they would have stopped my medals, but with much ado and much three louis's they let them pass. At Dover I found the benefit of the motions10 having miscarried last year, for they respected Sir Robert's son even in the person of his trunks. I came over in a yacht with East India captains' widows, a Catholic girl coming from a convent
9 Lady Mary Montagu (d. 1775), 10 The motion in both Houses of
daughter and co-heir of first Duke Parliament, 1740, for removing Sir
of Montagu; m. (1730) George Bru- Eobert Walpole from the King's
denell, fourth Earl of Cardigan, or. councils. Walpole. Duke of Montagu, 1766.